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DBS Checks In Sport: Everything You Need to Know

kids training football

If you’re running a sports club, you’ll be aware of the importance of safeguarding when working with children. As such, DBS checks play a key role in helping to ensure safeguarding, as well as assisting the recruitment process.

But determining who needs a DBS check, and which level is most suitable for everyone, can be a tricky process to navigate. This is especially true for smaller sports clubs that don’t have the backing of a regulatory body to draw on for advice.

To help simplify the process, this blog will detail everything you need to know about DBS checks for sports clubs.

Are DBS checks for sports coaches a requirement?

This answer ultimately depends on the role and the groups being coached, which we’ll discuss shortly. What we do know is that in all situations, DBS checks for sports coaches are crucial for safeguarding. With DBS checks, you’ll demonstrate your sports club’s commitment to protecting those you’re coaching.

What roles require DBS checks for sports clubs?

If you are in regulated, face-to-face contact with children under 18 years of age, or vulnerable adults, it is highly likely you need a DBS Check.

This means that everyone from the referee to the physio to the groundsman may require a certain level of Check – whether that be basic, enhanced or just a self-declaration form.

Some national governing bodies and sporting organisations may have specific guidelines or procedures in place. If in doubt, check with these organisations for clarification. DBS Checks are only available to those over the age of 16.

DBS checks in sport: What level will you need?

Working in a specified establishment

When working with children, one aspect of a position that entitles someone to a higher level of DBS check is if they are working in what is termed a ‘limited range of’ or specified establishment. These include schools, nurseries, children’s homes, among others.

If an individual is working in one of these establishments frequently (meeting the DBS frequency requirements) then they would typically be eligible for an enhanced DBS check.

As such, if a sports club is taking place in one of the establishments, then it is likely that an individual would be eligible for an enhanced DBS on this basis.

Engaging in Regulated Activity

If the sports club isn’t taking place in one of these specified establishments and is taking place elsewhere (such as a youth club or football club), then an individual’s eligibility for a higher level of DBS check will depend on their job role.

To be eligible for an enhanced DBS check an individual will need to be engaging in regulated activity with children. Put simply, this means teaching, training, instructing, coaching, supervising or driving a vehicle only for children.

As such, if an individual’s role involves coaching, instructing and supervising children, they would typically be eligible for an enhanced DBS check with a check against the children’s barred list.

However, if the individual in question is a supervised volunteer, meaning they are being supervised by a member of staff at all times who is engaging in a regulated activity, then they would not be considered to be engaging in regulated activity themselves. As a result, they may not be eligible for a check against the children’s barred list.

For more information, you can contact the DBS directly.

What do DBS checks in sport involve?

The nature of the Check depends on whether it is basic or enhanced.

A basic DBS is the lowest level of check available and contains details of any convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

A standard Disclosure cross-checks reprimands, cautions and convictions with the Police National Computer, while the extensive enhanced Check will refer to the Barred Lists.

Get your DBS checks for sports clubs with uCheck.

If you are employing coaches, referees or anyone involved in under-18 sport then we can assist you with getting the correct level of Check for the role required and provide you with a rapid and accurate DBS Check. Why not check out our prices?

Some organisations such as The Football Association may provide guidelines on applying for a Check.

If you have any queries whatsoever about DBS Checks in sport, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly team would be delighted to help.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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